Well, if you are going to do Christmas music then may you Have Yourself ANoisy Little Christmas care of STAHLSCHLAG. Sometimes I think German, Sebastian Sünkler is half man, half machine, the way he puts out music and tapping that vein of cybernetics, the noise master has graced us with an EP of Christmas covers.
Honestly, you really haven’t lived until you have heard a rhythmic noise version of “Jingle Bells“, which does seem to be a firm favourite with people, as Sünkler ramps up a screaming sleigh ride to get the heart pumping, in a most delightful way, hey! For me, however, my interest lay with the rendition of “Carol Of The Bells“, which is a beautiful track, even if it is a Christmas tradition and one can appreciate the intricacies of its splendour. Could Sünkler really pull this off? Let’s just say that I was not disappointed. Like razor edged snowflakes, perfect in their icy glory, both beautiful and full of cold fury.
There are also covers of “WhiteChristmas” (no Bing Crosby in the mix), “Frosty The Snowman” and “Santa ClausIs Coming To Town“. If you don’t particularly like the Chrimbo music but want to kind of participate, then this is perfect. Christmas cyber party…. then you can’t go past STAHLSCHLAG’s, HaveYourself A Noisy Little Christmas.
November 21st saw the Norwegian’s Dødsmaskin, release their sixth full length out on the ant-zen label. Based on the master and slave morality theory of Friedrich Nietzsche, the album is divided into two parts to represent both sides.
Have you ever started to listen to an album and had to instantly stop doing anything else, stunned into silence? Rare occurrence, but I found myself slightly slack jawed as I played the first 30 seconds to “Trusselbilde“, suddenly turning off the music thinking, ‘I must play this when I am alone, so I can turn it up as loud as I want!‘.
Okay, almost every track has a Norwegian title, but I don’t see the point of looking up the meanings, as the music will speak for itself and it most definitely does. “Trusselbilde” is the single and it is brutal. Super heavy rhythmic noise and yet there are these points of synth lightness where you can ‘breath’. It doesn’t seem possible and yet the noise grows and consumes, until it’s abrupt end. The sludgy “Døpt IBensin, Renset Med Ild“, feels ancient and full of portent, while “Imperium” is on the move, ready to mow you down. There is the perceived horns of war, hammers of destruction and waves of domination.
This is just the first three tracks off the album and that quality is throughout the whole release. Dødsmaskin are known for their crunchy rhythmic noise, but this release seems heavier and even darker, intent on searing your nerves and probing your brain with a javelin. If harsh rhythmic noise is your thing, then you must listen to Dødsmaskin and experience their album,”herremoral | slavemoral“.
It seems the guys from Biomechanimal have slapped us with the single, “From The Mouths Of Beasts“, the latest unnatural, animalistic track from the London based band.
The sound from the outset is huge. There is their signature hardstyle mixed with industrial but also there is the introduction of something akin to symphonic metal, swirling in morass, while the vocals snarl and growl, for there is no taking back that which comes from the mouths of beasts.
I don’t think it’s my imagination, when I say, Biomechanimal are getting heavier. Sure there are the bass drops that you expect but a bigger, more epic metal aspect has been creeping in. How much heavier can they go? Watch this space.
You would have to say that those individuals that create harsh industrial power and rhythmic noise, are a pretty unique bunch, as they form strong and danceable music tracks. STAHLSHLAG is Sebastian Sünkler and he is also one of these amazingly talented humans. With the release of his latest album, A Zone Of Silence, we thought ‘hey, we have a few questions’ and we know the super lovely Sebastian was up for the challenge of answering those very questions. I have to say that Sebastian might have the coolest wife on the planet…..and if you want to find out why, then you better get reading!
Welcome dear Sebastian, to Onyx where all hopes and dreams can be built and perish.
STAHLSCHLAG has been around since the mid 2000s. What was Sebastian up to musically before your current project?
I started to produce music some years before STAHLSCHLAG. My first steps were kind of dark electro tunes in a project called Vicious Circle with German vocals. It was the time when I discovered so called trackers as software to make sample based music. A friend of my older brother showed Fast Tracker 2 for MS DOS to us and I was totally hooked and fascinated since using trackers is kind of nerdy programming music rather than produce in a more conventional way. I wrote two albums and also released them by myself but well it was more something I shared with friends. It was also a little different then because it wasn’t so easy to do self promotion on the web like we can do now. Also producing was more complicated in a way. I didn’t have money for good gear so I relied mostly on samples I ripped from tunes in tracker file format I downloaded on modarchive.org or I used free samples from download sites. Anyways this is how I started 22 years ago. I still work with trackers but they are modern now supporting everything I need. I just love the workflow to produce from top down in patterns putting the notes step by step and manipulate samples.
I always am curious about the scene in different countries. Where you are in Germany, what was the dark/industrial scene like when you first started out and what is it like now?
I loved my first years in the scene. I have been into it since I was 18. We had great Gothic and Industrial parties in Hamburg and awesome concerts and festivals, more than we have now. It was totally exciting. I also loved that we had many printed magazines to inform us about new music and I really loved to discover new stuff just by checking out CDs in a store. To me it was always mostly about the music and it is still like that. I think the scene here is still great. Many efforts to keep it alive even if it gets harder. COVID had a big influence on it. Small places and events closed their doors. But I believe the scene will always survive. We still have parties everywhere and the biggest European dark festivals in Germany. What I also love is the diversity in the scene in the past and now. Sure also the dark scene has its problems with weird people and idiots (like everywhere when people are involved), I still think in the end it is an open and peaceful group of people and we can be happy in Germany to have many ways to live it out.
What prompted you to start STAHLSCHLAG?
Well, the short answer is, my wife did. She asked me in 2006 to try producing music like Xotox or KiEw because she was totally into rhythmic noise and industrial. I can just say I wasn’t so much. I was more into dark electro and future pop. But well I gave it a try and STAHLSCHLAG was born. She also had the idea for the name. We produced an EP and two albums together. Fortunately Jay from the band reADJUST found our music on MySpace and recommend to a small label in Florida. It was the first home for our music and even if it didn’t work out well, the record label helped us to get noticed. I can also say that MySpace was the best platform to promote our music. I miss it. 😉
What is it about harsh power/rhythmic noise that you love and drew you into creating it?
I think noise is such a great creative tool. You can do so much with it and to me personally it has something very meditative. I can relax so well listening to harsh noise. For the rhythmic noise, I think it is just so powerful and is the perfect companion to any beat. I love how it just flows and even in my calmer tracks, I always need noise at least as textures. Noise is just wonderful.
This year has seen you release your latest album, “A Zone Of Silence”, 2 years after the release of “ALIVE!”. So we are just wondering….why do all the albums start with A?
The first albums I produced with my wife started with A. I found it interesting just to continue like that, always looking for the right word with A to describe the feeling and topic of an album. It is a nice little challenge.
“ALIVE!” was a stunning example of rhythmic noise. How hard or easy was it to write “A Zone Of Silence”?
It is actually always the same. I never have a real idea or plan when I start to work on new music. Everything can inspire me. Something I read, watched or listened to. Sometimes I just play around with sounds or produce something as a meditation. Making music is my escape from the world. It helps me a lot, kind of like therapy too. What really helps me too is that I never think about what’s trendy or what I should do next as a release. Of course I think you can always notice my sound but I don’t work by rules or genres. I do what I feel like and what I love. It was actually easy to write A Zone Of Silence because first I just planned it as EP with less tunes, all slower and darker but then I thought fuck it, I will mix styles on a new album as usual. I know that I tend to be diverse on every album but this is what I love. No rules, just doing what I am in the mood for.
There were hints in “ALIVE!” that your style was slowly changing to incorporate other sounds. Can you tell about these changes and how it affected the newest album?
One important thing to me is trying something new all the time. I love to challenge myself and since it feels like everything is possible now also in a technical view (so many tools, so many instruments, so much computer power), I don’t limit myself. In ALIVE! I wanted to combine cheesy synth melodies with noise just because I thought why not. I had the idea it would work well together. I did it already in the past but focused more on it on the album. A Zone Of Silence was a new challenge. I noticed that I love cinematic and tribal sounds more and more, so I decided to try to mix some of it to my typical STAHLSCHLAG sounds. In the end I will always do something like that because I never want to sound the same. It would just bore me.
This album sees guest vocalists, combining their vocal talents and lyrical skill with your music. Can you tell us about each of these artists and how they came to be on the album?
One of my other ideas to challenge myself was to work with vocals in my music and because I suck at writing lyrics I was looking for guest vocalists. I got such a big feedback on a post on Facebook and I really would love to work with all people who want to collaborate but well I would have to write many more tunes then.
The artists on the album are all amazing people, I knew before already. I met them all on social media and we worked together with remixes. I sent all demos for the album to them and they could pick a track.
Aly-x from Sublimenal Stimuli is such a great vocalist and she writes such great lyrics. She actually did two vocal collaborations for the album and I will release the second one on the remix release later this year. On this album you can hear her in Lost Dreams. She also did vocals for another unreleased song. So you will hear more of her in STAHLSCHLAG tracks in the future. Working with her is a dream. I just send her instrumental tracks and she gets inspired, writing lyrics and sending vocals back in a few days.
Chris from Morbid Echo did the lyrics and vocals for Crushed March. Morbid Echo is a great dark electro project from Hamburg, so he is kind of my neighbor. Working with him was so great too. He got the emotions and my idea from Crushed March immediately. He wrote the lyrics and sent me the recorded vocals in 2 days. Really so amazing and I am sure to work more with him in the future too.
Rick from Mikrometrik wrote the lyrics and did the vocals for Dawn of Man. Mikrometrik is a great dutch dark electro project. I have been a fan of it from the beginning. It was the same experience with Rick like I had with the other guest vocalists. Rick totally got the idea and mood of the track which I wanted to use as an opener anyways. I changed the track a little after Rick sent me the first version of his vocals. In the end we both made it just better. I think it is really the best tune I could imagine for the album.
The fourth collaboration is with Lena from Ultra. This collaboration is even more special. It is not just her perfect German vocals but also the music video which wouldn’t exist without her. Working with her was just awesome. Without her Doomed wouldn’t have this deepness. And I am very grateful for the video. She shot it and produced it. I was just there for three hours, doing what she told me. I am so proud and it was the right choice to release it as a single for the album.
What have these collaborations meant for you as far as your growth as a musician?
They mean a lot to me because they can give my music a final touch I couldn’t imagine before. Also the experience to work with other artists is always fruitful and some of the most important aspects to me in my life as an artist. I look forward to doing more of them. It also means that I have to think different about arranging my music which I already did on A Zone Of Silence. I wrote some of the tracks in a way to leave space for possible vocals.
There are themes throughout the album, Sebastian, which seem to be related to makind and their seemingly headlong plummet into trying to destroy themselves and everything around them, either through environmental destruction or war. What does it mean for you?
I am a pessimist or maybe a realist. We all know that our planet is in danger but we don’t care. We know that war is going on all the time but we don’t care. I can understand why it is like that. Not because we are all just evil or stupid but I still admit that it is frustrating to me. I think a lot about it, read a lot of philosophy to understand the world and people better but it is just surreal. What I believe is that we all could be more open and kind to each other to make the dawn of man a little better. I don’t believe it will get better in the future but maybe we can at least try not to be too selfish and destructive. The current situation is also one of the main reasons why I don’t have children.
Even with the industrial power noise, “A Zone Of Silence” holds elements that are ancient feeling, voices, chants and dark magical places of our ancestors. Am I correct in this theory and if so, why did you incorporate this into the music?
Yes, you’re right about that. I was always into mysticism and shamanism. I discovered it while I read a lot of philosophy books. I am agnostic and believe there is more out there. For the album I was discovering great instruments while looking for cinematic sounds. I found these ancestor sounds in some instruments and felt they would be the perfect addition to the sound I was looking for. To me they match great with the whole mood of the album. They give it some more darkness.
I love the vocal tracks but admit there are many of the instrumental ones that I am extremely fond of as well. I found “Signs” and “Spem liberationis” really sparked my interested. Do you have any favourite tracks off the album?
It is always not easy to answer this question. I can’t say I have favorites but Signs was actually the first track I wrote which had some of the mystical and tribal sounds. It was more of an experiment. So I think without it, the album wouldn’t be like it is. I really like all the tracks, I never put tracks on an album when I don’t enjoy them so much. I always have to feel them or I wouldn’t release them. I have over 300 unfinished tracks which I could finish and release but won’t feel.
You did a Twitch session for the release of the album. How much fun was this?
It was so much fun also because there were such great people there, celebrating with me. I am always so grateful, if other people enjoy my music too. I also had technical issues and maybe talked too much but I still got great feedback. It felt so good to do it.
What pieces of equipment do you rely on the most when recording?
I actually don’t record much, just notes from a midi keyboard for melodies. Most of my work is inside the box which means I do it all in my digital audio workstation (DAW), the tracker Renoise. I load samples into it like drum sounds or load virtual synthesizers and instruments and then do a lot of sound design like my distortions.
You put the album on Bandcamp for name your price and all money made from sales is going to the charity, Equiwent. Please tell us about Equiwent and why you chose them?
Equiwent is a small international aid organization for animals and humans. They work primarily in Eastern Europe to care about working horses and emergency care for all horses. They also care about the street dogs in Romania and run a free veterinary clinic there. Their project Equiwent helps people is a program to support children, poor people and people with disabilities in Romania. Romania is a very poor country in Europe. They also care about refugees from the Ukraine.
I support them because it is a small transparent organization. I believe in what they do and can follow their hard work on social media.
You do a lot of remixes for other acts. This must be something you enjoy doing and is it a great way to network with other musicians?
I always love doing that. Destroying the great music by others is so much fun. Seriously, it is really always a great experience. I enjoy most remixing tracks of other genres. It is always a challenge. And yes, it is an awesome way to network. I found great people just because of it.
I have to ask about your other project, In Tenebris. Although electronic, this is so different to STAHLSCLAG, far more ambient. Can you tell us why you felt the need to create In Tenebris, will there be another album and if so, because “Abyss” was the debut, will the next album also start with A?
In Tenebris was born because someone asked me to do a soundtrack for a lost places video. Well, he didn’t enjoy what I did for the video but I loved what I created. Slow dark atmospheric music, so I decided to write more of it. The track Thanatophobia on the new STAHLSCHLAG album is actually a track I wrote for In Tenebris but I thought it fits great there too. Producing such music is even more meditative to me so yes I will produce more and for sure release a new album too. I am also sure I can’t resist looking for a way to start the album name with A.
Sebastian, you are now an independent artist without a label. Does this make things easier or harder for you?
It is totally fine to me to be an independent artist right now. I want to stay like that for a while but you never know. It doesn’t change so much since Crunch Pod gave me all artistic freedom too. I always did a lot of the promotion by myself and in terms of success. I can already say that A Zone Of Silence is my most successful album so far. I got great reviews, videos for it and also sold it at most. I am so grateful and happy that I can reach other people with my music and that I have fans for many years already.
I believe XoToX are a big influence musically and you can hear that in your music, so what bands and musicians got you into the electronic scene?
My first experiences with electronic music are great artists from the 80s. I always loved synth pop but my first experiences with darker electronic music were bands like Funker Vogt, Suicide Commando, Apoptygma Berzerk at the end of the 90s. I felt totally in love with that kind of music and it didn’t change.
Who influences you now?
I think now I get influenced by every artist I work with. I am lucky because I get to know so much music which isn’t so well known just because I collaborate and remix. This is my biggest influence now because I have to deal with the music in a different way when I have to remix it. So it is a long list because I have done at least 60 remixes so far.
If you could choose a favourite band or song to remix, who or what would it be?
I remixed Xotox which is so amazing already. I think if I could choose I would enjoy to remix something more calm and destroying it. Something by VNV Nation or Solar Fake would be nice. Or maybe something from a total different genre. Doing a STAHLSCHLAG remix of a black metal song could be awesome.
What is next for STAHLSCHLAG and Sebastian?
I have several plans for STAHLSCHLAG. First of all one or maybe more remix releases with remixes of tracks from A Zone Of Silence. I asked for remixers on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of feedback. If all artists really do it, I will get over 30 remixes. I also plan to release a new EP or album on my birthday on January 31 next year. I know it is pretty early but I have some more tracks ready and vocal collaborations too.
Plans for Sebastian are more about his PhD work. I really need to do less for STAHLSCHLAG to get more time. So I plan to do a break of new releases and remixes after my birthday. But I will still perform at online events and on stage and new music by STAHLSCHLAG will always come.
Thank you for being one of the super wonderful people in the industrial scene and doing this interview!
Be afraid, be very afraid for they are out there in you garden, under the stairs and in your saunas. We are talking GNOMES and they apparently are trying to ruin your day. For years, there have been voices in the wilderness, warning us of the peril. One such soothsayer is TFG, formally of the Finnish band TONTTU, whom is spreading the word via the medium of music but also in this interview. Before reading, find yourself a safe place, a soothing drink, a second set of underwear and snacks because you are in for an education about our ancient enemy —-> the pointy hat vermin. Flamethrowers and gnomes and kangaroos…..oh my!
Welcome to Onyx, Tonttufindergeneral Hanz-Baal (later on referred as TFG). You will be happy to know that the windows and doors will be bolted for the entirety of this discussion, so there are no pesky intruders. We even checked the biscuit jars for infiltrators.
Well thank you, nice of you to acknowledge that there is huge demand for my wisdom. Bolted doors and windows let alone removed eye lids and tongue are a great start, my absolute approval for taking those necessary measures. I would burn that biscuit jar but that’s just me… Being known for nuking couple of backyards does miracles for one’s reputation!
So, how may I help you? Let me guess, you might have some enlightened questions about the gravest of issues: Gnomes and all around gnomishness destroying our way of life and the planet itself. I bet this is about those particular issues and I am more than happy to oblige, we might even talk about Anti-Gnome / Pro-Gnome Muzikk/zakk while we are at it and if I feel praised enough. To protect and to burn:
Let us start.
Soooo, TFG, when did you become aware that Finland has a severe gnome issue?
Gnomes are everywhere and Finland is part of that everywhere so there you go… Also that horrid enabler Santa lives in here so that also is a huge warning sign…
But gotta say the core crew of TONTTU lives in the most happy township of Finland and our country being often selected as the happiest country in the world… I must say that Anti-Gnomen can make the difference! But it was all different before we came to play: Everyone was drinking and sulking and committing murders and suicides and thingies like that, abominous. They praise us as national heroes nowadays and gotta say they just might be right at that.
But yeah, vigilance is always the key when noticing things other (lesser) people often miss.
How did you find out about the gnomes and what their mission is?
When stumbling on the first hardship in life: My milk was a bit too warm to my liking and the biscuit was a bit on the softer side… I realized instantly that there is no other reasonable explanation to that than gnomes! No way around it. And oh boy was I right, as usual I might add.
After careful studies I proved my theory right and now the majority of scientists approve my thesis as the ultimate truth… At least those scientists I approve of, but they are far better than those other ones I cannot stand so there is no comparison at this point.
The final truth is that gnomes cause our every hardship without a reason of a doubt, there is no denying the science behind that phenomenon.
Their mission? To liberate us from our existence, to gnomify us, to drive us into extinction or help us to do it ourselves… They are the pure evil unlike us people with our caring and helpful attitude. we could do nothing wrong even if we tried to, gnomes on the other hand praise greed and money and care nothing about other species let alone this planet, pthui…Oh how much I despise them and their vile ways!
Gotta say after telling my sophisticated ideas some might consider me as totalitarian Phantom, you know that lovely story about that heroic chap wearing blueish spandex outfit beating up bad guys? Ah, if that was the case I only got that Ring of Evil as I do not seek for good people to bash (only those doing the gnomes’ deeds or being one of em), even though I am intrigued to hit them with that Good Mark Ring so that I would remember them later on – I am sure my comrades would approve that idea. But flamethrower and gnomes are good enough for me. Yeah, some may see me a bit “totalitarian” but I myself see me as an extremely liberal nice fella, a hero if you will, who is up to nothing but good ideas, for example the final solution for those gnarly little pointy hatted critters – who on earth would oppose that?
You created the band TONTTU, which literally means gnome, in 1994. Did you think the war against gnomes would be going on for this long?
Not quite sure of the year but thinketh it was a bit later, but who cares anyways! Our first “Kabouter Dämmerung” was released early 1997 or late 96 or something in between but the first version of “Saunatonttu” came into existence somewhere between 94-95 so you are not that wrong.
The official TONTTU as a project came to fruition circa 95-96 with me and Petja and in the studio Toby was added into mixture. But who cares about exact years, gnomes invented time anyways and we must resist their schemes with all of our strength plus additional 27 percent – at the very least. Next in line was our second ep “Gnomedrome” including remixes from the first one and our first martial ditty “Taisteluni.” That one is a beast made with excellent taste, for the most part politically correct…ish.
Then Petja got kidnapped by gnomes and we do not negotiate with them so… Out with the old and in with the new: “Some” time passed and we continued with new crew including brilliant Großinquisitor Rudolf Von Deer and with some compositionary help from High Commander Hephzipah later on. Fun fact: Rudie was in da house when we came up with Saunatonttu way back when so this move made perfect sense. This crew came out to be the core for later TONTTU-endeavours. We released “Nekrognomekon” (with those 2 older eps and brand new ep “Der Zwergenhammer” in 2013) and then made our first full length / long ep “Anti-Gnomen Divisionen 4 (Mastering the fine art of gnome eradication)” 2014 – that was the first one through that lovely label Panicmachine. Brilliant album by the way, very hateful and lifts one’s spirit to the max and beyond!
Enough of this subject, I think.
TONTTU was meant to be just a nice little military special operation but it turned out to be total war. Gnomes did not surrender, submit or just die so they gave us no choice. We are just making this world a better place for everyone and in the process some MAGGA may occur. Not clear enough for you? Make Anti-Gnomen Great Again that means but I would even go as far as to say MAGGS meaning Make Anti-Gnomen Greater Still! Glorious, even if I say so myself.
If at some point all the nations decide to declare me as the most benevolent supreme leader, which I obviously already am at some level, I will humbly and most gracefully accept. If that is to happen I will make sure to make this world such a safe place that no one will even dare to think otherwise, you know I am begin to feel quite sentimental here, just thinking of all the torches and pitchforks we can carry in all of those joyful little hunting parades we will arrange and what not!
Everyone will have to make some minor sacrifices and naturally some will have to compensate for others but in the end everyone wins as some fortunate ones even will have the splendid opportunity to become martyrs for this sacred cause – no greater glory! Where is those darn fanfares when we need them? Execute those slackers responsible for this humiliation! Ummh… Sorry, just got a bit carried away but hey, everyone would agree with me in the future if not for now… As you were, ahem.
Be as it may: “Gnomes may come and gnomes may go but Anti-Gnomen lives forever.” You all reading this might like to have a motivational painting in your wall saying that, if I may say so… And soon it will happen anyways…
What is your official designation in the band and other band members, who are obviously not gnomes?
If talking about late TONTTU core crew: *Tonttufindergeneral Hanz-Baal: Vox, Lyrixx, all around bossing around – initiative so to speak. The propagandist. *Großinquisitor Rudolf Von Deer: Muzikk, Mixx, Mastering. *High Commander Hephzipah: Composing, (later on) Voxx.
You might like to check those involved in Gnostrogoth separately and naturally Freiherr was in our two latest albums, bless him and his suspicious beard!
In these newer projects with TFG (TONTTU) I do what I always do: Lure people in starting the project usually, make lyrixx and voxx and spam it around afterwards. usually my name is to be found in the title featuring, but there is also projects with “proper” name like Wake Island Rail, Hollow Columns…
How did you and your comrades in arms come together against the marauding hoards?
With the core crew: Nothing like old comrades fighting side by side in this horrid but necessary war! So first we knew each other and then bought a shared second-hand flamethrower. Nothing like old friends singing kumbayah while covered in gnomes’ blood! Comrades that joined later on are mostly the spoils of social media that I got lured into my boat (called “MeHtzGnomz 1.”) The blessed filter of Anti-Gnomen, yes.
Your sound has been most eloquently described as anti-gnomemartialindustrialneofolkmetal. Would you say this was fairly accurate?
Well as I invented it I do most certainly agree!My ideas more than often “rule” and are “hip.” Been talking to some wretched souls and quite many do in fact think that it really is the word to describe our muzikk. I do not encourage people to disagree, but still. We do mix those musical elements with solid message, thus it depicts the sound and idea most definitively.
How does your music translate into fighting the gnome scourge?
Not quite sure what you mean but as usual that does not prevent me from giving my opinion! But if I got you right our music is highly militant and martial to raise the spirits of future martyrs! Also our lyrics give some nifty tricks how to get rid of those pesky little wankeroonies and/or tells tales about their schemes. If you ever have stumbled on our neverred “Tonttujen Kestit: Jälkiruoka” (from AGD4) that might just explain everything… It is quite graphic little ditty to say the least. I think it is one of our most praised endeavours to this day.
All our digital albums include line by line translations as do our videos, so I advice everyone to see what the lyrics are all about. Not for the faint of heart I might have to add.
TONTTU are on the UK label Panicmachine. They seem like a nice bunch. Do they believe in tricky gnomes, how do they help in the war and does the UK also have a gnome problem?
Panicmachine – I love em, they have been nothing less than supportive to the max and I think our synergy is more than great. It is symbiotic relationship, I would say. Of course they do believe in those bearded mothergnomers and they have seen the benefits of Anti-Gnome Muzikk in practice protecting their HQ by listening our musikk 25/8 . UK has a huge gnome problem! Pip-pip cheerio for the past glory of that land, sad to say… Maybe they will wake up at some point and notice, that being a wanker or a tosser is not the way to keep the country great, but we will see. Gnomishness is what gnomishness does and it can be conquered if there is will to do so… But there are ways to convince common people to bite their own legs so gnomes do not have to bother… Media and social media can do wonders when people are eager to believe the gnarly whispering voices of em turtoidian gnomes.
Must say they have got great bands though, I find Midnight Configuration and Chaos Bleak as very Anti-Gnomen, for example… Not to mention Fear Incorporated (will mention them every gnomin’ time I will get the chance and most probably even if not).
Your first ‘proper’ album came out in 2013 called Nekrognomekon, so how do you feel your sound has changed since this album and did you get any feedback from the gnomes?
Well hard to say as it contains 3 of our first eps but when we reached the martial sound of “Taisteluni” and continued that idea with the 2013 ep “Der Zwergenhammer” with the new crew I think we found our way. Basically the same recklessness is there all the way but maybe we focused on certain style of perfecting it. Adding High Commander into the mix in the next release brought some more classical take into it and there we were… Thinking afterwards “Riimuja ja Tonttuja”-album kinda was the ultimate showdown for that style and shows what polished Ant…metal might be like.Rudie really took that to extreme s and we got some great feedback. Freiherr von Gargamel joined us on that album and looky looky his specialities: Violin, Viola, Recorders, Tin whistle, Mouth harp, Baglama saz, Mandolin. Highly folkish and finely tuned!
Our last album Gnostrogoth was done quite differently and it sure involved same elements but the approach was quite different, we were more like doing a jukebox than solid, integral release.
Feedback? Hahhahahah, you gnomin bet! Finnish gnomesian media hated it and that is one of the main reasons I decided to go on! First positive reviews came from that questionable character Mr. Gullotta / Brutal Resonance and from respectable P. Emerson Williams / Intravenous Magazine – yes, the very same Williams I learned to know after this review… Anti-Gnomen goes a long way.
Also heard couple of gnomes commenting it and it went like this: “EEEÄÄÄÄÄÄRRGGGGGHHHHYYYYYYYY…..GHRLGURG!” Not quite sure if I got it totally right, but found em dead afterwards and that made me realize the potential of our muzikk.
Most recently members of TONTTU have been involved in collaborations with other artists. Can you tell us how you came to recording with Australia’s Captain Kangaroo?
GENERAL Kangaroo SGS, ahem! What a lovely little hippity-hoppity that unsung hero is! I think I have got Mister Rowland from Disjecta Membra to thank for it if my memory serves me right, thinketh he mentioned about a nice kangaroo he ran across while on tour. That nice kangaroo also happened to be fierce and relentless roaming around the wastelands of Aussieland… Also that blessed creature was hating gnomes like no kangaroo before, it appeared we got along just fine him praising my… Ummmhh… he must have praised something I am sure… And me admiring his slick moves and blistering hatred towards gnomes, not to mention his balalaika skills! Blaa and blaa and we ended up doing couple of collaborational dittys first as music videos and in the end released as an… drums… EP!!!!! You would not have ever guessed that, huh? It came through No Devotion Records and includes couple of smashing remixes, you must check that out.
You also have collaborated with many of the acts signed with Panicmachine, most recently, EPs with Phobos Reactor. I must ask, what was going on to make these EP?!
Phobos Reactor is not signed to Panicmachine, I kinda dragged them there with these collaborations, you can find their magnificent original stuff from here: https://phobosreactor.bandcamp.com/ They are from Germany by the way and I love to work with them, always a pleasure. We have done 4 eps so far and so proud of them all. The most notable thing is that only one of them is “openly” Anti-Gnome Muzikk, our latest classic #FOLITWIBG. Heheheh, you were brave enough to review it, my highest regards for that! Utter coolness. That was the only one with me only and PB – others also showcased my dear collaborator HCH.
“Enneuni”-ep was Finnish spoken word with short stories, fables if you will. “The Daily Torture of the Commonplace” and our our earliest collab “A Dream Within A Dream” are in English viewing this world through slightly sardonic lense. Ah, goode olde world views in there, gnomes not mentioned but more than present in these ones.
By the way we did a little project within a project in Gnostrogoth album as Phobos Reactor was inside TONTTU and damn did they provide or not! Spoiler: They did.
As for collaborating with actual Panicmachine artists must mention Veil of Thorns and P. Emerson Williams (he also makes all the groovy cover art for us, kudos!) We have made one ep “012333” and that was surprisingly for No Devotion Records-label. Other collabs include for example project Gnomenblut single also with Dean from Bleeding Raven / Gnostic Gorilla. There will be more different collaborations in the future rest assured,
We have released numerous projects featuring myself under the name TFG (TONTTU) in Panicmachine and the story is always the same: Panicmachine seems more than happy to release my collaborational endeavours and I drag more and more willing victims in there. Bless their dark hearts. Gotta salute especially my Norwegian comrade Ron of Simplefixty, skål!
The gnomen seem to bring people together, even if they are a blight on the world, don’t you think?
How can anyone sleep while gnomes are not burning? Need is must and people with any brains see the necessity of joining the cause or perish in flames of the all devouring gnomishness. Anti-Gnomen is really the greatest filter for human character, hands down. I very rarely get disappointed with people engaging with The Cause, naturally some gnome sympathizers try to sneak in from time to time but that just improves our defence systems. Praised be!
Did you quote Midnight Oil when you referred to burning gnomes while people sleep and are they part of the underground fight?
They stole that from me and without a trace of shame adapted that for their own evil deeds! Should have gotten paid because of that but being the generous person I am I let them get away with it… For now… That is just because they are talking about burning and I just cannot be that angry with them because of that. Soft spot and all that.
One of my favourite movies in the Swedish vampire movie, Frostbitten, where one of the teenagers stabs a vampire with a garden gnome (death by gnome). Are vampires and gnomes natural enemies?
Vampires are in fact nothing more than mosquitoes that has been possessed by gnomes so that incident must be just some perversed vision of some horrible Swede! It is a gnome eat gnome world after all so everything is possible in the end and I know cases where gnomes and their collaborators are just having obscurious fun by playing dead / killing each other. We must remember that dying enhances their red magikk so they can have fun and reap the benefits at the same time. Damn them and their weird ways! Vampire movies and literature are very popular, yet another example of how gnomes redwash media and try to gain the status where people see them as a desirable form of being, like accepting someone pulling your teeth one by one… Damn humans being so gullible, we will remember THAT kinda sympathisers when the tide turns…
What bands or artists got you into music BFG (Before The Gnomes)?
Oh Lordy, that is a tough one… Those leading straight to Anti-Gnomemartialindustrialneofolkmetal as follows: Laibach and Skinny Puppy (always!), NON, Keuhkot (Finnish avant-garde), Two Witches, Blood Axis, King Diamond / Mercyful Fate…Add folklorian truths, some political insights and some tasteful humour + what ever sounds good at the moment = You are set!
Been listening to music all my life and got sweet spot for hippie/heavy time: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath etc… Then again early metal like Judas Priest. Black Metal like Emperor and Thorns, Isengard and Storm… Not to forget Urfaust. Hahahahha and must not also forget Venom, Celtic Frost and the almighty Triptykon! At some point really liked neo-folk, even though it is a chess game for some highly gnomesian things. Same goes with martial industrial that I music wise enjoy immensely, acts like Puissance with extremely sardonic lyrics, ooooh…
Naturally darker electro/industrial like Ministry, Leaether Strip (ooooh, Science for the satanic citizen sure is close to my heart), Front 242, all those greats. From the goth side of things Sisters Of Mercy and Christian Death with Rozz…
Cannot remember all of them neither have I enough space to name them all but my opinions sure trump all the questionable scientific facts or what not alternative truths! If someone disagrees may that scoundrel negotiate with the business end of my flamethrower, enough said.
What musical acts do you enjoy now?
Laibach! Hahahahhahah… I think in the later spectrum I would have to mention Fear Incorporated and everything else Sir William makes like Dark Sinfonia, Gnostic Gorilla (especially their fantastic album “St. basil’s Asylum), Korpituli & Iku-Turso (Finnish black metal)…
I am not too keen to find new music, but sometimes comrades really bring some seriously neat stuff to my attention. I also often find myself listening to comrades’ bands like Choronzon, Sounds Like Winter, Harmony Garden etc… Couple of newer acts I really do enjoy: Wargasm (UK) and Bloodywood – heheheh, new school Nu Metal! Got soft spot also for Linkin Park, Mushroomhead etc. so nothing new there.
But all the old ones usually stay there and add couple of bands to the list there and then. No matter of the genre as long as it is good. Talking about hard to define everyone should listen to Rummelsnuff, that man is a hero in my eyes (and ears)!
How may others join you in the war against the pointy hatted little beasties?
Hmm, respectable question indeed but all this makes me wonder whether your intentions are pure? Maybe you are collecting classified information for your little friends? Let us believe you for now, but consider yourself warned…
Kill a gnome, heck, kill two while at it! Resist all gnomishness, burn your sauna down and/or make/listen glorious Anti-Gnome Muzikk and force other people to do the same. There are many ways and you will find yours if you want – the main thing is to stay alert and be suspicious about everything and/or everyone. Loose lips cost human spleens so be sneaky whatever you choose to do.
Do you think they will ever join forces with the Norwegian trolls, and could there be a black metal/industrial album on horizon to combat them?
Some forms of gnomes have (d)evolved from gnomes like we inform for example in our song “Peikosta tontuksi.” So answer is probably so. We have in fact made couple of red metal dittys found from our album “Gnostrogoth.” W.V. Obscenvs Tomtenkopfff kindly provided us with couple of splendid tunes while joining us with the last TONTTU-album. Maybe we will visit those glorious moments with my feat-stuff later on, let us see. Something may be in the works.
What are you going to get up to in the future and will gnomes be involved?
To extinction and hell if people are not repenting and making the change needed! SHTF and TEOTWAWKI is upon us and we can hear gnomes laughing escorting us there! Behold: We are all doomed! Oh… You meant future projects… Ummmh… But I won’t take my words back as they are the truth and the wisdom.
As TONTTU is done and dusted in the most glorious way I will continue my path with smaller projects with other musishuns, a ditty here & ditty there featuring TFG (TONTTU)– basically having a good time and getting more time for eradicating actual gnomes, you dig? Some projects are hibernating as gnomes seem to bother those trying to collaborate with me – wise of them but very annoying for me not knowing if we ever get there with all the projects… Well, I can only do my part if others provide what they have promised too. Dunno whether this or my next Finnish EBM-collab (about chilies and stuff) is out first, but it will be a blast – like the joyous last project with Exemia, what a brain melter that was!
Yes, fighting gnomes is essential and I will never abandon that – needless to say of course. Do remember: Everything is always about gnomes, one must only stay vigilant enough to spot that. The golden rule states: “If you have got the slightest of suspicion: Eradicate!”
Must not forget that The Book is coming! It may take some time, but “Gnomeus Gnomeficarum” will explain everything and then some, with my trusted comrade TJB Morrison as the main author and P. Emerson Williams illustrating it nothing can go wrong when telling about my glorious tale! Huzzah!
Thank you TFG for your time and good luck in fighting the good fight!
Thank you to you too, may gnomes never slurp your spleen or worse (if that is even possible). T’was a pleasure indeed and keep up the good work.
PS: If you ever want to feel the joys of martyrdom just give me a nudge!
So, Brutal Resonance have threatened us with a good time by releasing, on the 27th of May, the new EP, OutOf Time by Her Noise Is Violence. With cool artwork by Psyklon Industries, this is the first EP to be dropped on the Brutal Resonance label for Her Noise Is Violence.
“For this EP, I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and work with sounds I seldom do as Her Noise Is Violence. I borrowed a lot of ideas that I normally use with my other project, Funeral Pyre – but I also allowed myself to just be immersed into the theme as a whole. Nuclear war, the end of civilization, living in the Kali Yuga, etc. I wanted to go more for feeling vs dance-ability and DJ friendliness. I guess this is a hybrid album of both my style as Her Noise Is Violence as well as being a part of Funeral Pyre.” – Her Noise Is Violence
Think big, bringing in the “Nuclear Age“. A wall of deep electronic sound and twinkling synths that resonates in your chest, while we wait for midnight. So 60s sci-fi at the end. “Pale Horse” could be the foretold one of the apocalypse and this grinds into your brain with wavering electronics and rhythms trying to punch through. It is glorious in it technical coldness. There is a certain amount of frustration with the title track, “Out Of Time“, because….well…it’s a beat out of timing. Good grief, just being slightly out of step does weird things to my brain. Add in all these rather pleasing popping and scratched tones which makes it both fun and torturous all in the same piece of music.
Amazing heavy beats assault your ears, in an Asian style emoting Bladerunner track called “Stolen Dreams“. It circles and becomes almost an sickly sweet instrumentation, while the context of war wends words around it all. The last track is also the single, “Apathy“, which was released prior to the EP. It is apt to end with this track, as it spirals downwards, rivulets of time lost to the aether..
There are beautiful synth lines woven throughout each track and as such, are like glass catching the light, while the darker industrial thunder sweeps you up in it’s grip, squeezing the rhythms into your core. Her Noise Is Violence has a techno savvy, that she mixes with synthpop nuances and harsh industrial noise…. it is a wonderful thing and if you don’t listen, then you are going to be Out Of Time.
When you are a weirdo, you build community with other weirdos. So we are putting out the word that online monster munch, electro/industrial magazine, Brutal Resonance have launched their maiden ship of a podcast, streaming into the void of cyberspace, where someone can hear you scream and probably turn it into an epic industrial track.
That long haired hooligan, Steven Gullotta, captain of the good ship BrutalResonance, is looking to bring you commentary, new music, interviews and formatted shows to both inform and thrill the audience… but then, quite frankly, like it or not, this red headed renegade takes no prisoners and you will listen to the ‘good shit’.
Resonance has gone from strength to strength and in the last few years, become a record label as well, signing some very radical acts such as Her Noise Is Violence and HOSTILE ARCHITECT.
Has this peaked your interest because it should have. Knowing Gullotta, there will be screaming, f-bombs and a lot of laughing, along with a tonne of interesting music for you to ingest. So, support the scene and my only piece of advice is, don’t let this man near a didgeridoo…. it’s really obscene………
Brisbane’s Disfigured Mistress, has been releasing industrial noise for just over a decade. The man behind the project is retiring in the public eye, though in real life a gregarious hugger, who likes a laugh. With that decade under his belt and a veritable catalogue of industrial noise tracks, it seems to the perfect time to compile some of these gems into a huge 17 track behemoth called Decade Of Destruction (2011-2022), which was unleashed on April, 14th.
Just by the list of track names, you have to realise that most of this was not written to be all happy joy. There is a lot of angst, self doubt and even loathing, that is not even thinly hidden. You can bask in the pounding “SexAnd Violence” as the bass beats fracture in in ever heightened frustration or go from synth perfection into being stuck with pointed electronics in “Bleeding To Feed The Fake“.
The previous single “The Black Depths Of Hatred” is so fucking heavy, you could weight down a body with it, and it just gets better every time your hear it. Yet, it the midst of all this is the slower and ethereal, “Never FadeFrom Me” with acoustic guitar and ghostly accompaniment, that is like a breath inhaling and exhaling over and over until it is no more.. There is also the latest single, “Drown It all Out” that is overbearing and full of abrasive metalized distortion which fills your ears, unrelenting.
“In The Flesh Of Fallen Angels” has the glitching beats and the mind numbing harsh noise trying to crack your head open in “Black Mother Devourer Of All” are tracks I just need to mention because of their stellar execution and how magical they are.
The whirling “The Rage Within” is just epic and just made to murder a industrial/techno dancefloor as it screams in fury, lost in its own world. And it just goes on and the thing is that I am not trying to write about every track, because there are a lot here and yet as you listen, each one is so different in the use of synths, programming and even instrumentation. Occasionally you hear a distorted guitar that just adds to the amazing cacophony that assaults your ears, so brilliantly orchestrated.
Traditionally, it the Europeans that have this affinity with harsh powernoise but I am going to say that Disfigured Mistress could easily be just as good as any of those acts. He has a talent for weaving those electronic threads into powerful rhythms, that will touch your primal animal which lays at your core. So, there is no time like the present to immerse yourself in the Decade Of Destruction of Disfigured Mistress.
Brutal Resonance have signed, Philadelphia’s Her Noise Is Violence, to their growing list of acts. With her soon to be released, first EP with Brutal Resonance, Out Of Time, coming soon, the first single, “Apathy” was dropped on April 15th, 2022. Her Noise is Violence is making a name for herself as a creator of industrial music with dark techno.
The beats and electronics rotate around your head, maybe in a state of confusion or a mind infected by a malaise. A male voice says everyone is dead and if they were dead, what would you? Deliberate and slow fuzzing rhythms plod on until….nothing. A sudden stop.
This is a lot more sedate than her normal fare, but as the artist herself explains, ‘Apathy’ is a chilled-out tune, it’s the last track on the EP and what I wanted to convey is the feeling of, well, apathy.‘. With this in mind, we await the EP and more of those beats with Her Noise Is Violence, plus get a load of the awesome artwork by Psyklon Industries.
Disfigured Mistress is probably a project I should have talked about sooner but better later than never. Since 2010, Brisbane’s Disfigured Mistress has been releasing his experimental, industrial noise and as of the 8th of April, released the single, “The Depths Of Black Hatred“.
As the title may indicate, this is not a happy go lucky piece. It is an instrumental number full of harsh crackling electronic fury, that lashes your ears, in mounting waves. Primal with a dark brooding undercurrent of unrest which floods through senses without remorse. All until the last tick. You should definitely check this track out on Soundcloud or on Bandcamp where it is name your price and then check out more of the Disfigured Mistress back catalogue, as it is well worth your while.